Correct, or killjoys?

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I READ with alarm Carole Molineaux’s comments in the Worthing Herald last week regarding the mural over the sandwich shop Feast, in Warwick Street.

More specifically, her unbelievable assertion that allowing this would encourage more of the same.

More of the same?

She means individualistic expression of art, freedom of speech, colour, exuberance and life to Worthing town centre?

Her reaction beggars belief and is symptomatic of Worthing’s decline – petty minded killjoys strangling the life out of the town.

I contend that the attitude of her and her cronies on the town council who opposed this mural are directly responsible for the scores of empty shops that now populate our streets.

By refusing this and denying that, they suffocate and starve the green shoots of recovery for no good reason other than dogma and an attempt to keep Worthing stuck in the 1950s.

Astronomically high parking charges actively discourage casual shoppers and breed discontent and resentment amongst the electorate.

A complete lack of concern over the horrendous traffic issues in the town, exacerbated by both railway crossings at South Farm Road and West Worthing staying down for excessive periods, coupled with the news that you are actually closing West Worthing crossing for two months – no-one will be able to get in or out!

Not to mention the increasing number of potholes and the half-hearted, amateurish attempts to repair them – which only costs the taxpayer more in the long run.

I’m thinking of the junction of Ripley Road and Tarring Road as a prime example – potholes filled in last year and within weeks were reappearing.

Whilst I am not sure of whose exact responsibility it is to repair the roads, if it is not WBC, then it surely should be standing up to the powers that be and lobbying for more effective remedies.

As for the extension of the CPZ – a venal, cynical move designed to gouge more money out of the residents of Worthing. Where on earth does all this money go I wonder?

I see no evidence of it being spent for the benefit of Worthing or its residents.

Instead, the council seems hell bent on destroying as much of the town as possible, as they did during the sixties. Grand old houses demolished for flats, the fabric and character of the town being pulled down before our eyes and soulless monstrosities erected in their place.

The news that part of Stoke Abbott Road car park is being sold off for, surprise surprise, flats again just shows in sharp relief a portrait of Worthing Borough Council as weak-willed against developers and central government, fearful of innovation, of change and of individual expression and avaricious with their swingeing parking fees.

On holiday in Wales last year, we spent, in a week, the same amount on parking as you would for a couple of hours in Worthing.

Everywhere we went were towns and villages with interesting and diverse shops, public art and a sense of optimism that is seriously lacking here.

It may seem like a trivial thing, but to deny a mural is the straw that broke this camel’s back and I have had enough and I will not stay silent any longer.

This approach to running Worthing, unchanged it seems for decades, has had its time.

Move aside, Ms Molineaux, and let someone with a bit of imagination have a go.

Richard Kingshott

Queen Street